- decide with which piece to capture
- decide which escape square is the best
- decide which order of moves is best
- decide whether the counter attack is dangerous or not
- declining a good move
- repetition of lines which are not working
Decide with which piece to capture
What I need is a decision model. If the piece to capture is defended, then the piece with the lowest value should be considered first. But with the knight or the bishop? When to use a piece with a higher value like the rook or the queen? If a piece of my own is under attack, it is best to trade it off as first. Etcetera.
|Diagram 1 black to move|
It took me a minute to decide whether 1. ... Bxd4 or 1. ... Rxd4 is best.
It should be possible to decide that faster, don't you think?
Decide which escape square is the best
I seem to have a special talent to choose the wrong escape square. I need a decision model. Which escape square prevent further checks? Which king move has an attacking value? Which king move defends a crucial piece?
|Diagram 2 white to escape check|
After winning a rook, the only thing to do is to bring the king into safety. Why must that take an awful lot of time?
Decide which order of moves is best
Sometimes you perfectly know which moves play a crucial role in the combination, but you need an awful lot of time to put them in the right order.
|Diagram 3 white to move|
What should I do first:
It takes a lot of time to work out the right move order. Why? Are there ways to improve on that?
Decide whether the counter attack is dangerous or not
|Diagram 4 black to move|
Of course I know which move I want to make. But will the counter attack peter out? It took me 2:20 min more than average to find out. Are there ways to do it faster?
Declining a good move
Sometimes you decide to look not further in a certain line since your gut feeling tells it would not work. That prevents you from calculating a whole bunch of superfluous lines. Grandmasters calculate much less lines than amateurs. But when your gut feeling is wrong, you are toast.
|Diagram 5 white to move|
I declined the move 1.Qxh6+ in the first minute of investigation, since I thought the black king could escape. It took me 8 minutes (!) to decline all other possibilities and to have a closer look at the move.
Repetition of lines which are not working
When the lines I investigate don't lead to a solution, I tend to keep grinding the same moves over and over again. They look so tempting, but they do not work. Repeating your thoughts is a bad habit which takes an enormous amount of time. It seems to be a case of mental paralysis. In fact I'm clueless. The thought process is designed to take me out of that paralysis. Besides that, I'm making a list of themes I tend to miss.
|Time is not on my side|